Sunday, December 15, 2019

A Modest Suggest for Improving the Impeachment Process: Voir Dire


Quoth US Senator Lindsey Graham:

I am trying to give a pretty clear signal I have made up my mind. I'm not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here.

Well, OK, then.

Conviction in the US Senate requires "the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present" (emphasis mine).

Assuming the House does vote to impeach, the presiding judge in the US Senate trial (Chief Justice John Roberts) should take note of Graham's unambiguous statement of prejudice in the case and excuse Graham from "jury duty" as one of the first orders of business in the trial.

In fact, Roberts should have all his clerks working hard right now to identify every US Senator, of either party, who has  publicly expressed any opinion on the president's guilt or innocence in the pending case. He should then excuse all of them.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Remarkable Agreement Between Comey, Horowitz, GOP on Definition of "Criminal Intent"


If you commit a crime and are investigated/arrested/prosecuted/impeached, the question of "criminal intent" will boil down to this:

Did you intend to commit the act which constitutes a crime?

That is, did you intend to shoplift that DVD? Did you intend to fraudulently write "office supplies" next to the petty cash withdrawal at work but to actually spend the money on heroin? Did you intend to plant that ax in the head of your wife who just told you she's filing for divorce?

If you're Hillary Clinton, or the FBI, or Donald Trump, however, James Comey, or Michael Horowitz, or [insert random Republican flack's name here] will confidently assert that you only can only be demonstrated to have had "criminal intent" if you are proven to have laughed maniacally and yelled "yes, yes, I intend to do this because it violates [insert applicable US Code section here]! Wheeeeeeee! I am acting criminally, hahahahahaha!" as you committed the act which constituted the crime.

I call this the Steve Martin defense:


Story of my life ...


So I ordered a lawn mower for delivery (I'd have bought one locally, but the deal was too good to pass up -- cheaper and I don't have to haul it home myself).

If it seems like a strange time to be doing that, well, I live in Florida and have some grass I'd like to get cut down before spring comes and it starts growing again. Also, this is the time of year when they're on sale.

Anyway, it was supposed to be here on Wednesday, and wasn't.

And then it was supposed to be here yesterday, and wasn't.

I see that it's actually on the truck for final delivery as of early this morning.

So, you guessed it -- we're getting rain today and all weekend.

Sigh.

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